Scotland flanker Hamish Watson has topped the vote for this year’s player of the Six Nations.
The 29-year-old finished ahead of Welsh duo Louis Rees-Zammit and Taulupe Faletau, Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw and Tadhg Beirne, and France’s Antoine Dupont in an online poll.
Watson was instrumental in away wins against England and France and was man-of-the-match against Italy.
He also scored a try in Scotland’s narrow home defeat by Ireland.
The Edinburgh player made 67 carries in the competition, bettered only by the 72 made by Ireland’s CJ Stander. A ferocious defender, he made 55 tackles, missing just one, and was also responsible for four turnovers.
He featured for 386 minutes, only being replaced in a comfortable win over Italy, making an impressive 321 metres across his five matches.
‘Watson in strong position for Lions tour’
“He’s been the standout for Scotland,” said Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill, who is backing Watson for British & Irish Lions selection this summer, despite stiff back-row competition.
“He’s been consistently good. He hasn’t just played well one game then had an average game the next.
“Hopefully that will put him in a really strong position for the Lions tour. I think he’s put himself in a very strong position to be part of that selection conversation. He could not have done any more than what he has.”
Watson is the second Scottish player to win the award after Stuart Hogg, who was named player of the tournament in 2016 and 2017.